Welcome back sunshine! I am hoping this finds you all in the full swing of summer. My kiddie pool is up, and my BBQ is well seasoned by now. This is one of my favorite times of the year—grilling season!! I am happy that we have many new additions to the meat department this year, just in time to throw them on the “barbie.”

We have a new line of all natural, antibiotic and hormone free bison smoked sausages from Pederson’s, located in the heart of Texas. Pederson’s is offering us some tasty Jalapeño Pepper Smoked Bison Sausages, and some Bison Bierwurst Smoked Sausages with pork and uncured bacon (yes, a bison sausage made with pork and bacon). These sausages are so good and smoky tasting, I hardly believed they were bison when I tried them. We also carry their all natural, nitrite and nitrate free Bison Kielbasa, and their uncured Smoked Bacon & Pork Sausage (no bison in this one). I have been quite pleased with Pederson’s as all of their products are minimally processed and the bison are humanely raised and cared for on small family farms, much like our local farm, Cascade Buffalo.

This leads to another excellent choice for grilling, our local buffalo patties from Cascade Buffalo. These come pre-formed so it is nice and convenient to fire up the grill and toss on these delicious burgers. I love to caramelize sweet onion and add my favorite spicy BBQ sauce from Redtail to these buffalo burgers. The buffalo meat is nice and lean, so there is hardly any guilt involved.

Another of my favorite grilling items is our local pork sausage from Deck Family Farms in Junction City. They raise their hogs humanely, and without the use of antibiotics or hormones. We carry Deck’s Sweet Italian, Garlic, and Chorizo pork sausages that grill up plump and juicy. At our house we cook up a bit of bacon and wrap the pork sausages in it to finish up the grilling. So good! I recommend this for all bacon lovers to try. Deck Family Farm also brings us a variety of milk fed, soy free pork cuts, and frozen lamb and goat sausages.

Our newest addition to the meat scene is Simply Grown Organic Beef, located in Madras. We are happy to welcome them to our meat family, offering items in our fresh case as well as in our freezer. They are bringing us short ribs (to The Grill is On! die for!), as well as boneless ribeye steaks, flat iron steaks, sirloin tip kabob cuts, and ground beef. We offer their 10-12% ground beef, and also the ground round which is 8% fat or less.

In addition to the grillable items, we also offer other selections from each of these companies, as well as many other great choices from Lonely Lanes Farm, McK Ranch, Niman Ranch, and Applegate Farms. And of course, we have fresh poultry and fish, too! There are lots of opportunities for a carnivore’s grilling delight.

You can rest assured, all of our meats are full of the good stuff, and free from the bad stuff. That is to say, all of our meats are uncured, nitrite and nitrate free, humanely raised, and antibiotic/hormone free. They are free from artificial ingredients and preservatives, with ingredients you can pronounce.

So, now you might be looking for a bun to put your burger or sausages on, and we have recently added a new player to that game. I am proud to welcome new gluten free hamburger buns from Canyon BakeHouse. They offer an old fashioned, thick cut, seeded whole grain burger bun. It tastes good, even without toasting, holds together, and is a size you might actually want to use—not too big, not too small. Canyon also offers a gluten free rosemary thyme focaccia. The focaccia works great thrown on the BBQ and topped with your favorite pizza toppings.

If you are looking for burger buns that aren’t gluten free, check out the cracked wheat pub buns from Portland French Bakery. These buns are big enough for a ¼ lb burger, and taste great too. An unconventional idea for those plump sausages, is the par baked petit baguettes from Marsee Baking. You finish baking these at home and I like to get them a bit crunchy on the outside because they stay soft in the middle. Perfect to cradle a number of the aforementioned sausages!

If you don’t want a whole bag of burger buns, we are selling Essential Baking Company organic burger buns individually. They are in a bin by the bagels, where you can take as many, or as few, as you’d like. These are baked in Seattle and shipped to us frozen, so I should always have plenty in the freezer if the bin is empty—just ask!

As always we are still offering the burger buns and hot dog buns from Rudis, Udi’s, Ezekiel, Dave’s Killer Bread and The Breadstop.

As I said, grilling season is my favorite, so I try to encourage grilling all year round if possible. I have many years of experience making and eating these grilled treats, so feel free to ask me— or any of the LifeSource staff—if you need help thinking of a recipe. We’ll get you inspired with some great ideas.

So get your grill on!